From family woodcarving craft to a sustainable icon of contemporary design

Evolving from a craft workshop to a family business with international success, furniture production “Zanat” from Konjic proves that the combination of traditional skills and modern needs is not only possible but also very necessary. Applying the skill of manual woodcarving in product design can significantly enrich the user experience of contemporary design, while at the same time contributing to sustainable socio-economic local development.

The ancient technique popularly known as the “Konjic style” was discovered and further developed by Gano Nikšić, who learned this craft from local pioneer woodcarvers-entrepreneurs, who, thanks to the educational support of the Austro-Hungarian Empire regime that ruled Bosnia at the time, perfected the primitive rural technique to the heights of exquisite craftsmanship. His grandson Besim Nikšić dared to take a step forward and open a company for the production of luxury furniture, which is the forerunner of today’s “Zanat” company, whose survival is due to his sons Adem and Orhan, who not only kept it alive, but also revitalized and transformed it into a modern company that today promotes local skills and the cultural heritage of the Balkans all over the world. Thanks to them, Konjic woodcarving technique was included in the UNESCO list in 2017. Today, their furniture wins awards on the global market, and can be found in carefully designed spaces throughout Europe, the United States of America and the Middle East.

As part of the Next Gen Design talks, we have the unique opportunity to hear the story of Zanat from father and son – Besim and Orhan Nikšić, and learn firsthand how challenging is the mission of passing on this important tradition to new generations, reconciling modern aspirations with old skills, and what are plans for further development, especially in the field of sustainability and the introduction of modern technologies in the production process.

Learn more about Zanat. (link to https://zanat.org/)

Speakers: 

Besim Nikšić, founder of family craft Rukotvorine [Bosnia and Herzegovina]

Orhan Nikšić, CEO, Zanat Company [Bosnia and Herzegovina]

Moderator

Emir Salkić, architect, Normal Architecture [Bosnia and Herzegovina / Spain]

Dorćol Platz - main hall

23. May

12.00 -13.00

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Besim Nikšić
Zanat

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Orhan Nikšić
Zanat

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Emir Salkić
Normal Architecture